Sinkhole snarls traffic on Wade Avenue

A huge sinkhole opened on Wade Avenue Wednesday morning after a crash damaged a fire hydrant. (Jim Schumacher)

September 1, 2010 4:05:26 PM PDT
Police said a huge sinkhole opened up on Wade Avenue Wednesday morning after a truck damaged a fire hydrant.

It began early Wednesday morning when an 18-wheeler knocked over a fire hydrant in the Ridgewood Shopping Center parking lot at Ridge and Wade Avenue around 4:30 a.m. Investigators say it appears the driver was trying to turn his big rig around when it happened.

"Getting a call on Wade Avenue about an hour before rush hour in the morning is not a good thing," said Andy Brogden with Raleigh Public Utilities.

The damage to the water pipes caused pressure buildup leading to a pipe failure further down the line sparking two water main breaks under Wade Avenue between Faircloth Street and Dogwood Lane. The breaks caused a six-foot deep sinkhole to open under the pavement. Crews rushed to repair the pipes and re-pave the road, which reopened Wednesday evening.

City of Raleigh workers did the repair work on Wade, while a private company repaired the broken fire hydrant.

Water from the break rushed downhill towards Tripps restaurant. It got mud in the parking lot, but very little made it inside.

About a dozen customers and local businesses, like Tripps and nearby Bruegger's bagels, went without water for hours, turning people away during the lunch hour rush.

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